Jump to content
Shelynn66

Unbearable Grief

Recommended Posts

I am currently dealing with the aftermath of waiting too long to put my dog down. I am sick over it. I had my Bindi for 11 1/2 years and in that time she had gotten sick from time to time, for one reason or another. She began acting like she was getting sick again so I was taking care of her the same way I always did. She stopped eating, then started having a difficult time walking and had thrown up a few times. She finally threw up a sock. I took her to the vet and they said that her stomach was probably irritated so they sent us home with pills. She did not improve. It got to the point that I knew she had to be seen again. A new vet this time ran a blood test on her and determined that her kidneys were shutting down. An X-ray showed that she also may have had a blockage in her intestine (possibly the other sock). I was told that this could be what was causing her kidney trouble. The vets advise was to put her down, but the hope that it was the blockage causing it and she could be fixed made me opt for trying to save her. The vet said he could keep her at the veterianary clinic on an iv to see if things would move along. A day and a half I called repeatedly to see how she was because I was terrified at the notion of her suffering or dying in a cold kennel alone. Each time they told me that she was resting comfortably and that she had even gotten up a few times to get a drink. I asked if I could come see her, but the vet said that they advise people not to do that because it’s hard on the pet to see us leave again (I agreed). The last day I called at 8:30 am, as the test was supposed to have been conducted by that time. It had not, they were running behind. Again, they told me that she was doing the same and that it would be about 3:30-4:00 pm before they would have any results. I got the call at 1:30 that her results were poor and that she should be put down. I rushed to the clinic and they put me in a room. They wheeled my dog to me on a gurney. She was completely unaware of her surroundings (from what I could determine in my frantic state) and she was gasping for air. It became clear to me that my decision to save her caused immeasurable suffering and I wasn’t there for her. 11 1/2 years of loyal companionship and I failed her when she needed me most. She isn’t here to forgive me and I can’t forgive myself.

95FBB290-5336-423B-8BC8-299BA04CD959.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Shelynn66 said:

I am currently dealing with the aftermath of waiting too long to put my dog down . . . It became clear to me that my decision to save her caused immeasurable suffering and I wasn’t there for her. 11 1/2 years of loyal companionship and I failed her when she needed me most. She isn’t here to forgive me and I can’t forgive myself. 

My dear, I am so very sorry for your loss ~ the picture of your Bindi is adorable, and I can only imagine the empty space she's left behind in your home and in your life. 

In all my years of hearing from animal lovers just like you, I've yet to encounter a single person who hasn't struggled with this godlike decision. It's either "Did I wait too long" or "Did I do it too soon?" (See, for example, Guilt In The Wake of The Euthanasia Decision.) This is such a heavy decision, and it's fraught with uncertainty (when, exactly. is the "right time," and how will you know?), and it's virtually impossible to get through it without some measure of guilt. 

3 hours ago, Shelynn66 said:

A day and a half I called repeatedly to see how she was because I was terrified at the notion of her suffering or dying in a cold kennel alone. Each time they told me that she was resting comfortably and that she had even gotten up a few times to get a drink.

It seems to me that you did the best you could with the information you were given, and once you knew and saw that Bindi was suffering, you made the agonizing decision to let her go. It was your final act of love for her, in that you were selfless enough to put her needs (to be free of pain and suffering) ahead of your own (to keep her here with you). In effect, you elected to change places with her, because she is free and now you are the one who is suffering ~ with the pain of grief and loss.

You're right in saying that Bindi isn't here to forgive you. The only one who can forgive you now  is you, and only you will know if and when you've punished yourself enough for having had the courage to do what you had to do. For your sake, I hope you will find a way to do that, and soon. ♥️

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so so sorry, your dog is beautiful and I understand your deep love and attachment.  As Marty said, this is the hardest decision one can be faced with.  People question themselves if they've waited too long, they question themselves did they euthanize when they could have been saved.  All we have to go by is the information we've gotten by our dog's responses and the vet's information, but it's not always so clear what to do, what not to do, and then we have to make the best decision we can with what we have.

Please try to forgive yourself, you loved her more than anything and she knew that, you know she'd forgive you in a heartbeat, that's the wonderful thing about dogs, they're so loving and forgiving.  Maybe you can write her a letter and tell her what you're feeling.  Then read it aloud.  Who knows, maybe she can hear you...there's a lot we don't know about the beyond, but it could help to try.

Right now you can rest assured she is free from pain and happy...and she'd wish that for you too.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marty and Kay, thank you both so much for your kind words. I am still struggling to cope with Bindis last days, but I’m starting to forgive myself a little. I think I’ll always have pain over knowing that she was alone through her suffering. I constantly see the world through her eyes inside of that kennel, hurting and wondering where her mommy was. I am grateful that she didn’t pass before she heard my voice, at least she knew I was there at the very end. However, I never would have let her get that ill. Had I actually been told her true condition that last day and a half, I would have put her down sooner. I’ll never understand the vets thinking.

Thank you both again, your words truly comforted me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's how I felt about my cat, King George, it was 12 years ago but it haunted me a long time, he had cancer, if they'd have told me that I would have had him put down sooner, he suffered unbearably that last month, needlessly!  But alas they misdiagnosed him with a cold, gave him antibiotics and sent him home.  Refilled the antibiotics, of course they did nothing.  When I took him to another vet and learned his true situation, I had him put to sleep immediately.

I've finally forgiven myself for not realizing sooner, but really, the onus was on the vet, not me.  But we're their parent, we feel responsible. This article helped me a lot:  http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing that with me Kay. I’m so sorry for your cat and so sorry that you had to carry that guilt. It’s horrible. It’s hard enough to make the decision to put them down, but to know that I caused more suffering by thinking she could get well, is just devastating to me. She was a mommy’s girl so bad and I can’t imagine how abandoned she felt while laying in that kennel suffering. It eats at my brain and shreds my heart to think of it. I talk to her all of the time as if she is still here. I tell her how sorry I am and how I miss her. I know time will heal this gaping wound eventually, but I will always have regret and agony over her suffering. 

You have no idea how much this brief interaction has helped me. I wasn’t able to breath or even swallow right for a couple of days after I put her down, it is slowly coming back to normal. Thank you for talking to me.....thank you for this site and for the links you have provided. ❤️

33BE3C76-81B9-45F0-B22C-66BBFC02EA2B.jpeg

87C5A0AD-4E81-4C50-9D3C-E58481E23F32.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your urns are beautiful, it makes me feel better knowing that I'll have to have Arlie cremated someday because his size is burial prohibitive to me with all the tree roots on my property, digging is too hard and especially my age.

It seems we feel bad no matter how it goes down, no matter what decisions we make, but they know we love them and want only their best so I don't think they're looking at it like we do.  If they could, they'd give us a kiss and let us know all is well with them.  I hope you continue to feel more peace.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×